IT’S ONE THING to be a garden voyeur, checking out places that are open to the public or that I’ve wangled an invitation to. Now I’ve gone a step further and become a garden stalker, sneaking looks into yards whose owners are unaware of my presence.
More than once I’ve parked my car (or left it running) and stealthily crept around to peek over a hedge or fence at a house whose roofline promises something interesting, scurrying away guiltily when a door opens or a voice is heard.
The latest object of my stalking is a stunning estate on Springs Fireplace Road, above. It’s a cedar-shingled Colonial — or is it just a very artful contemporary house in Colonial style? The general shape of the building, large and boxy with a high peaked roof and wings added on just as they would have been if the place were indeed 18th century, seems authentic.
The landscaping is by Oehme van Sweden, according to a small sign on the property, in the currently fashionable idiom — ornamental grasses and prairie-style flowering perennials in drifts or ‘waves,’ a look pioneered by that firm and Piet Oudolf, the Dutch landscape architect. There’s a pool, a pergola, and a no-nonsense electrified deer fence.
In front, the property is open and farmlike, visible to all who pass by. In order to see the side and rear of the property, I went down an old farm road. Only later did I notice the small “Private Road – No Trespassing” sign.